The Allies for Student Mental Health is a professional development program that provides teachers, leaders, and school staff with the information and resources they need to support the mental health needs of their students.

Participants will learn how to work as allies to identify and understand the effects of mental health conditions and trauma, which can have a significant impact on students’ academic success and overall well-being.

This two-hour training was designed by NAMI Massachusetts and is available for any K-12 school in the state. Download an Allies for Student Mental Health brochure (pdf).

Allies for Student Mental Health is presented by four speakers with unique perspectives and expertise:

  • Individual Perspective: A young adult diagnosed with a mental health condition will speak about his/her lived experience, with an emphasis on his/her experiences in school.
  • Clinical Perspective: A clinician, school nurse, or other medical professional will provide information about the prevalence of common mental health conditions facing children and adolescents. The speaker will then describe the signs educators should be on the lookout for. Additionally, information will be provided about trauma and the impact on students.
  • Educator Perspective: A teacher will offer ways to support student mental health within the classroom and school. The speaker will provide strategies, accommodations, and supports that teachers can use right away.
  • Family Perspective: A parent will share the struggles and successes that his/her child experienced in schools and will provide tips for communicating with families.

Allies provides practical, solutions-oriented information, including:

  • Information about mental health and trauma
  • Common signs and symptoms
  • Classroom accommodations
  • School-wide systems and supports
  • Tips for partnering with families
  • Resources and tools

Allies addresses key mental health topics and diagnoses, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicide
  • Eating Disorders
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
  • Conduct Disorder (CD)
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)
  • Trauma
  • Teacher Mental Health

Program participants report:

  • Improved ability to recognize signs and symptoms of common mental health conditions
  • Awareness of resources, tools, and strategies for educators, parents, and students
  • Enhanced knowledge about how to support students with mental health conditions or trauma histories•
Volunteering as an Allies for Student Mental Health Presenter

Allies for Student Mental Health (ASMH) is presented by a panel of four trained speakers. If you are interested in becoming an ASMH speaker, please download an ASMH speaker information brochure and contact Valerie Hammond, Allies for Student Mental Health Coordinator.

Download the ASMH speaker information brochure (pdf).

Contact us for more information about Allies for Student Mental Health

Michelle Ward
Assistant Director of Community Education and Training
617-580-8541 x 216

Eliza Williamson
Director of Community Education and Training
617-580-8541 x 221

Looking for additional resources related to children or education?

Check out our Resource pages.

You can also contact our COMPASS helpline. Learn more about COMPASS.